Music Performance - Nordic Master: The Composing Musician

The Master’s programme Nordic Master: The Composing Musician is a two-year study programme and specialisation option within the Master's programme Music Performance, for students who wish to focus on composition. The programme is operated by RMC in partnership with the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, and the Academy of Music and Drama, Gothenburg. Two of the programme’s four semesters are taken at these partner institutions. The objective of the programme is to equip the student with further qualifications for the employment market by augmenting the student's BA and strengthening and challenging the student's personal artistic project and musical expression. The programme is centred on the student, and students are very much encouraged to organise their own studies, so that they have the opportunity to acquire the skills that best support their artistic project.



Applicants must either have passed the Bachelor programme Music Performance at RMC, or possess a relevant Bachelor degree from another Danish academy of music or a foreign academy of music.

Based on a specific assessment, the Conservatory may recognise other artistic based Bachelor study programmes in music as qualifying for admission.

The relevance of a Danish Bachelor programme will be assessed in accordance with the credit agreement of the academies of music (link is in danish). In the agreement you can find a summary of which programmes are considered to qualify for admission to the various Master’s programmes.

Please note that the number of students the Conservatory can admit to its Master’s courses is subject to a quota, and that the admission decision will be based on a concrete assessment of the applicant's abilities and skills.


You must apply online through RMC's Varbi Admission system.
You must create a profile, fill in the online application form and upload relevant files. You do not have to submit physical copies of the application anymore. What is required in the application, is described below and in the application form itself.

The website opens for applications on 2 January 2019 at 00:00 CET.


The application must contain:

  • A completed application form
  • A personal portfolio, containing digitally documented composition work for which the applicant has been responsible, and which give a good impression of the applicant’s identity as a composer and creative musician. The total duration should be 15 minutes. Several different examples may be included in the submitted material. The applicant must also enclose a brief summary of the reflections the applicant has had in relation to the submitted compositional material as well as a list of credits, specifying your own role and the role of any others in the making of the music. Scores or other work documentation may also be included.
  • A CV, in which the applicant describes his or her professional background and experience as a musician in connection with composition and performance.
  • Documentation for your Bachelor degree or expected Bachelor degree.
    I.e. Degree Certificate including Diploma Supplement or study evidence documenting your studies and the content of the subjects you have passed, and confirming that your Bachelor programme will be completed by 1 July 2019.

Other submitted material will not be included in the assessment.


All documents must be submitted before the deadline on 28 February 2019 at 23:59:59 CET.

Entrance examination


All applicants who meet the admission requirements will be invited to attend an entry examination.

Applicants who have passed a relevant foreign Bachelor programme, or a Danish Bachelor programme which does not provide direct admission according to the credit agreement of the music academies, will have their applications individually assessed. If approved, the applicant will be assessed via an entry examination.

In the case of external applicants who have passed a Bachelor programme that does not provide direct admission, as a general rule, the more closely related the programme is to the Master’s programme to which admission is sought at RMC, the greater the possibility that the application will be approved.

All applicants will receive an e-mail no later than week 10 of the year. Applicants whose applications have been approved will be notified in the e-mail of the time at which the entry examination will be held.


The entry examination is held in week 14 of the year.


The entry examination consists of a concert and an interview.

  • Concert
    The applicant plays a self-selected repertoire on his/her main instrument with his or her own group (at least one other person, who sings or plays an instrument). The repertoire must include material composed and/or arranged by the applicant, with elements of improvisation.
    Duration: 10 minutes, including any changeovers.
  • Interview
    An interview with the panel on the basis of the applicant’s concert, personal portfolio and written application. The applicant attends the interview alone, with a panel of two assessors.
    Duration: 10 minutes.


After the entry examination, an overall assessment is undertaken of the concert, interview and personal portfolio. In the assessment, emphasis is on the applicant’s artistic and academic standard, and on the applicant’s study project plan.



After the entry examination, the Conservatory takes a decision on whether to admit the applicant. The selection is based on the results obtained at the entry examination.

Two students are normally admitted to the programme. Due to the limited number of study places, the Conservatory cannot guarantee all qualified applicants a study place on the programme.

Applicants will receive an e-mail in the beginning of April informing them of whether or not they have been admitted.


The entry examination is held with a view to commencing studies in the following August.


A limited number of applicants who are qualified for admission, but who have not been admitted due to the limited number of places available, may be offered a place on a waiting list. In the period up to 1 June, applicants on the waiting list may be offered admission.


Illness must be documented by medical certificate if the applicant wishes to have the opportunity to take a make-up examination. The Conservatory must be in receipt of the medical certificate no later than three days after the examination has been held. The Conservatory will determine the date of any make-up examination, and the applicant will be notified of this as soon as possible. It will not be possible to take the make-up examination at other times than those announced by RMC. The applicant is responsible for paying the cost of the medical certificate.


The entry examination is normally conducted in Danish. If the applicant does not speak or understand Danish, the examination can be carried out in English.

Programme structure

The Master’s programme corresponds to 120 ECTS points, equivalent to two years of full-time study at 1,620 hours per year. A year of full-time study includes all work connected with the studies, including classes, independent study, examinations and all other study-related activities.

The Master’s programme comprises studies at an advanced level, with a natural emphasis on in-depth study, individual options and innovation, with the aim of strengthening the student's artistic profile. The organisation of the programme takes its starting-point in the student’s study project plan.

Of the programme’s four semesters, two are taken at RMC and two at the two partner institutions, according to the following plan:

1st semester is taken at RMC
2nd semester is taken at the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo
3rd semester is taken at the Academy of Music and Drama, Gothenburg
4th semester is taken at RMC

Each semester, one of the partner institutions also hosts a joint intensive module of one week’s duration for all students in the programme. The intensive module rotates between the three partner institutions. Besides being an intensive course module focusing inter alia on composition and performance, the module is also aimed at strengthening the networks of all students in the programme.

To a large extent, the tuition takes the form of independent project work, in which the students organise the courses themselves, within a set framework, and with the help of individual academic guidance. A certain amount of weekly tuition and common modules are included, and part of the course is studied together with students of other Master’s level programmes.

The programme is structured around the disciplines Composition/Performance, Semester Project and Electives, with Semester Project being the key subject. In this subject, the student develops and implements a complete artistic project each semester. The semester projects focus on various areas, and could for example be multidisciplinary or be centred on performance. The development of the skills, knowledge and competencies to support the projects is undertaken in the subjects Composition/Performance and Electives, which are organised in dialogue with the supervisor.

The programme offers ample opportunities to draw on the many strong academic environments and professional networks that the three partner institutions offer in combination.

The programme concludes with a Master's project in the subject Composition/Performance. The Master's project consists of an artistic production/concert in which the student is both composer and performer, and a written report in which the student presents his reflections on the project’s process and results.

The table below shows how the subjects and ECTS points are distributed in the programme.


1. SEM

2. SEM

3. SEM

4. SEM


Composition/ Performance






Semester projects












Master's project






ECTS total






You can read more about the objectives and structure of the programme in the programme curriculum, where you will also find detailed descriptions of the individual courses – click on the link to the right, or on the individual subjects in the table above.

The programme is a full-time programme of study, and attendance at tuition is compulsory. The language of instruction is generally the Scandinavian languages. However, teaching may also be conducted in English to the extent necessary.


Graduates of the programme typically find employment as musicians and composers in bands, as well as in the context of television, radio, theatre, film, etc. During their studies, graduates will have established strong professional networks in three of the strongest musical milieux in the Nordic countries, and will thus be well placed to establish a sustainable and internationally-anchored career. In the curriculum, you can read more about the qualifications of graduates of the programme.


Below, you can see a list of teaching staff on the programme in the current study year, permanent academic staff as well as contract teachers - click the name for more info.

RMC prioritize diversity in terms of genre and fields of expertise when putting the group of teachers together. Students are offered a broad spectrum of impulses from both permanent teaching staff, contract teachers and visiting teachers, and in core subjects of the programme the tuition delivered by permanent academic staff will as a rule not exceed two thirds of the total amount of lessons.

When studying on the programme you will also have great possibility to meet many external/visiting teachers in courses, projects, and so forth.

Head of programme

Programme Coordinator

Claus Finderup